Once, when I was younger, I needed to organize my bedroom. So I tilted a bookshelf far enough that the four shelves of books, double-stacked, dumped onto the floor. It was a strange thing to make a huge mess, in order to organize everything, but it had to be done, and was the easiest way. It stuck with me, though. Sometimes, in order to clear away the junk, you need to make a significantly larger mess. Typically this is because once you’ve made that larger mess, the cleanup process is more straightforward.
I agree that this has been poorly handled; I disagree that it was possible to stay on the old system. I trust the many reports from many DAZ people that the old system was starting to fall over. (‘Fall over’ here appears to be defined as being unable to track sales, and determine correct payments to PA’s and DAZ and such, or taking significantly too long to provide reports, or something equally business-imperiling.)
I disagree about concern over policy differences and feature differences; those are change aversion, and could have been managed better if the transition had gone easier. The transition’s ease has not been bad because of missing features, or policy changes. It’s been because the site is still fundamentally unstable. If it was a solid platform, the lack of features, loss of benefits, etc., would be manageable, and they could quickly start building new features, benefits, etc., on the new system. Folks would still be averse to change, but they’d be seeing a benefit. Unfortunately, the bugs in the new system are not under control.
There are real bugs that should not be conflated with change aversion in the user base. That caching (most likely culprit imnsho) is still causing some users to see other user’s information is a Very Big Bug. That it ‘loses’ users PC statuses regularly is a medium sized bug. That prices are STILL not consistent is a Very Big Bug. That ‘Required Products’ is still sometimes random is a small bug (but probably related). That purchases are not completing is a Very Big Bug. That your itemized history is sorted wrong is a very small bug. That ANYTHING on the forums is broken or different is a Very Small Bug.
I agree that they need specific professionals fixing this; developing a major 3D desktop application is not the same skillset as modifying a bespoke deployment of a flexibility-oriented web shopping cart. They’re both intensely hard problems, but they overlap in almost zero skill requirements. I trust and expect that DAZ has a team of (probably contract) web developers who are building/modifying the bespoke site, and hopefully are ‘in harms way’ on this. (By this I mean that they have a performance bonus that they are rapidly losing.) Unfortunately PHP and Magento are both not safe for novice software developers, and at the same time absolutely rife with them.
For example, I would say to turn off front-end (‘view’) caching (Varnish, and/or Magento’s own view caching) to start, just to fix the inconsistencies, but I bet Magento would be dog-slow (or even potentially unusable) without it, which means you need to cache smart, and that’s a very hard problem, easy to get wrong, and viciously hard to debug when you do get it wrong.
I don’t envy them. I’m confident they are hearing the concerns, but I’m also confident that the folks who developed this custom Magento instance got so far over their head, sunlight couldn’t reach them anymore. Here’s your guiding light, as a user: if you see the user data and required product inconsistencies solved, and remaining solved, then you know someone’s gotten a grip on things there, and is working through the problems in a methodical fashion. If they start delivering ‘new features’ (like the ones folks are requesting/demanding/whining about constantly) in the store or forum before those inconsistencies get fixed, then you know that they’re prioritizing user complaints over actually fixing fundamental bugs, and things are actually going to get a lot worse, because they’re building on quicksand.
Don’t ask them to go backwards; that way lies madness. Give DAZ a chance to do the site right, and make things right with the users. I expect that given time, they will do both. I agree with the fundamental sentiment, though. This hurts. A lot.